Ohio is home to a wide variety of trees thriving in environments from wetlands to the Appalachian Mountains, from bone-chilling winters to more mild southern temperatures and hot, humid summers. In your Northeastern Ohio yard, there are some specific varieties that are likely to be more common.
If you are uncertain of the trees on your property, check the list below for a few that are frequently planted for their shade, ease of growth and beauty.
One of the most common trees found in Ohio’s forests and fields, it also is extremely popular in urban and suburban areas because of its shade. Ash trees are fast growers and adaptable wherever they are planted. They also provide vibrant early fall color. They are identifiable by pinnately compound leaves that feature 5 to 11 leaflets. Unfortunately, many of Ohio’s Ash trees have fallen victim to the Emerald Ash Borer, a wood-boring beetle from Asia that has now been identified in every county in the state.
Blue – Most common in western Ohio, it is known for its scaly bark and less vibrant colors in the fall and is named for the dye early pioneers extracted from its inner bark. The high-quality, dense wood of the Blue Ash is favored for tool handles and furniture.
Green – The most common tree to Ohio’s woodlands, it provides widespread rounded shade when fully mature. It is adaptable to a variety of soils and grows rapidly.
White – Most readily found in Ohio fields, White Ash is one of the most popular shade trees in urban areas. Its wood is favored for baseball bats, tool handles and firewood and its leaves are distinguished for their whitish green undersides.
As the tree of the State of Ohio, the Buckeye is found throughout the state, although it is more common in the western half. Part of the Horse-chestnut family, Buckeye trees tend to grow as an understory tree, keeping them smaller than their potential 60-foot height. Horse-chestnut trees are more imposing and are usually found on large estates or open areas that can accommodate their height and spread.
Ohio Buckeye – Known for flowers in the early spring followed by nuts called buckeyes because of the shell’s resemblance to a deer’s eye. Leaves are palmate compound and feature 5 leaflets
Horse-chestnut – Provides shade and striking flowers in the spring followed by nuts in a spiny brown husk. Leaves are palmately compound with 7 leaflets.
Maple trees are native to the cooler climes of Northeastern Ohio, thriving in the moderate temperatures and moist soil. They are favored for their shade, adaptability and fast growth.
Red – Frequently chosen by homeowners because of its brilliant red leaves and tendency for symmetrical growth. Red Maples frequently grow smaller than their potential height of 70 feet due to planting in clay-based soil.
Silver – It is so named because the underside of its deeply indented leaves is silvery, giving a two-tone appearance when they blow in the wind. Their tendencies to put down shallow root systems and to outgrow their space (they thrive in most conditions) can create problems in urban areas.
Sugar – They thrive in the cooler temperatures of Northeast Ohio and are best known for providing sap in the spring for maple sugar and syrup, a practice started by Native Americans. In open spaces they can grow to 80 feet tall.
Divided into two groups based upon the color of the bark, there are several varieties of Oaks falling into the Red Oak group and the White Oak group. Oaks grow to heights of 70 feet and have deep root systems that like moist soil. They provide great shade and hard, quality timber. Most common in the Northeast Ohio region are:
Red – A fast grower favored for its quality hardwood, it is also a key shade tree for landscaping throughout Ohio.
Pin – In the Red Oak group, it also is favored in landscaping for its shade. It requires moist, acidic soils to grow to its full potential.
White – Like Red Oak, it is favored for its quality hardwood. White Oak features a spreading canopy and rich reddish-brown and purple color in the fall.
Bur – In the White Oak group, Bur Oaks are frequently seen growing individually in the center of fields. Their bold and unique shape make them the most picturesque of the Oaks.
Residents of urban and suburban areas frequently seek out flowering trees for their beauty, especially in the spring, and the fact that many tend to be smaller and more appropriate for neighborhoods that feature limited space and small lots. Popular choices in Northeast Ohio are:
Crab-apple – Known for stunning flowers in the spring, these trees are easy to grow in well-drained soil with full sun. They are slow growers and maximum height is 35 feet. Healthy trees produce fragrant white flowers and bitter greenish yellow apples, which can be harvested for jelly or jam.
Dogwood – At a mature height of only 15 feet, Dogwood is a great choice for small yards with limited landscaping options. It is among the most popular of ornamental trees because it provides color nearly year-round. Heavy spring flowers are followed by red fruit in the summer and red leaves in the fall. In the winter the tree is distinguished by its large buds and multi-colored bark.
Red-bud – Found heavily in southern Ohio, it is the earliest bloomer of the spring with abundant lavender-pink flowers. Relatively small with multiple trunks and a rounded shape, Red-bud is desirable for its adaptability to a variety of soils and growing conditions.
If you need advice regarding trees growing in your yard or have concerns about the health or care of your trees, contact Linger’s Lumberjacks, or click here for more information.